Behind How Hill House near
the road is the entrance to the Secret Garden. These
lovely water gardens are open all year round free of
charge and are certainly worth a visit especially in the
Close by is the the museum at Toad Hole cottage. It is
well worth a visit and you can see the life of a
marshman first hand. A nature trail starts from here and
leads you through the How Hill estate to Crome's Broad.
There is a small charge for this. The museum and nature
trail are both closed in winter. The photograph below
shows Toad Hole cottage.
From Toad Hole cottage,
cross the bridge and you will find yourself on the
riverbank. This is How Hill staithe, a public mooring
place for boats. All our How Hill walks start from here.
Walk One - A Short Walk
to the Preserved Windmills or continue for a
circular walk via Sharp Street
The short walk along the riverbank takes you
to two preserved skeleton wind pumps. You
can turn back here or continue along a
permissive path, opened in 2019, which takes
you on a 2 mile circle through marshes and
the hamlet of Sharp Street.
Just follow the riverside path to the right
of the boathouse (see picture above). It is
just a short distance to the preserved
The first mill you come to is Boardman's
Mill which was used to drain the local
The picture on the right shows the next
mill, Clayrack Mill. It is a scoopwheel wind
pump which was used to drain the marshes
elsewhere and was moved here. It used to
work but it is currently under repair.
You can retrace your steps back to the
staithe from here or you can continue on the
circular walk. This walk crosses the marshes
and is full of wildlife.
The path to the mills has been improved and is no
The Norfolk Hawker dragonfly can be seen on this
After the second mill, follow
the path down off the bank and onto a permissive
path which runs low down behind the river bank
with open marshes on the right.
Follow the path which eventually crosses the
dyke leading the Crome's Broad on a metal
Cross the bridge and follow
the path between the fences until you come
to a T Junction.
Turn left at the T
junction and follow the track to come to
the riverbank at a wild mooring spot.
Here you can watch the boats go by. Now
return to the T junction and go the
other way towards Sharp Street.
Keep following the
track past the farm. Eventually it
becomes as road. Follow this road to
the next junction where you turn
Turn right here and
follow this road back to How Hill. You
will know you are there when you see a
large black mill on your left.
If you want a bit more exercise, it is
possible to extend this walk further by
taking the public footpath off to the
left of the road. There are various
paths you can follow. See our map on the
walks index page.
Walk Two - How Hill to Ludham Bridge via Buttle
A pleasant riverside walk which takes you to the
main road at Ludham Bridge. On the way, you pass
Buttle Marsh, a newly created nature reserve which
has scrapes and reedbeds designed to attract rare
bitterns. About a mile along riverside paths, it can
be muddy at times.
Start the walk at How Hill Staithe and follow the
riverbank with the river on your right.
You get excellent views of
Turf Fen Mill and Reedham Water beyond it. The marshes
on the other side of the river are still cut for reed in
the traditional way. You can visit this area on a boat
called The Electric Eel. Enquire at Toad Hole cottage
for details of when the boat is operating. You usually
need to book in advance.
At the end of the moorings,
the path turns left and goes behind a reed bed. This
reed bed is a particular type of Broadland habitat where
the reeds are open to the rise and fall of the tidal
water. We have seen otters here, go quietly.
You now come to a junction of tracks where the path you
are on dips down and joins a track coming in from the
left. This is the main junction of paths where the
various How Hill Walks diverge.
To continue to Ludham Bridge, take the path to the right
at this point staying high up on the bank. Follow this
path towards the riverbank and then follow the left hand
of the two paths slightly back from the river. You will
pass Buttle Marsh on your left and eventually arrive at
Walk Three. A Short Circle round How Hill
The track becomes a hollow
way passing between hedges and then turns right by a
house and becomes a country lane. Just beyond the house,
turn left into a public footpath and follow this path as
it curves through fields and crosses a bridge.
This is the view from the bridge. This area was once
much more open and had a large pond. Now it has
gradually turned into carr woodland. It is still quite
wet and boggy.
Cross the bridge and follow the path through a hole in
the hedge to a road. Turn left and follow the road past
How Hill Farm back to the car park at How Hill.
Walk Four - How Hill to
Ludham Village via The Clint.
An interesting walk into Ludham with good views of
Buttle Marsh. About 2 miles, can be muddy in places.
To start this walk, follow Walk Two until you come to
the main junction of paths. Go straight on through the
gate opposite and follow the grassy track with woods on
Continue along the track until you come to this gate
where the public footpath turns sharp left and starts to
rise up a hill. Turn left here and go up the hill with
the fence on your right.
Pass through this gate and continue along the path
Continue up the hill
keeping the fence and woods on your right.
To your right, you have excellent views over Buttle
Marsh, a special habitat created for bitterns. The cliff
below you is called The Clint. It is hard to believe
that there was once a railway running along here and the
cliff bank was used for gunnery training in W.W.II.
The path now becomes a more well defined track between
hedges. After a short distance, you approach a farm
Continue along the path and
through a farmyard with ruined barns on your left. Go
through the metal gate and continue downhill along the
Just past the farmhouse,
turn left uphill into a narrow footpath between the farm
hedge and a wire fence.
At the top of the hill with a farm gate on your left,
turn right into a track.
(If you are on Walk 5, the large circle, do not turn
right here but go straight on following the public
footpath until you meet a road.)
Turn left here into the
narrow lane. Follow this lane which curves right past
houses and then leads you back to the centre of Ludham
Walk Five - The Large Circle via the Clint and
An excellent circular walk of about 2 miles. Good views
of Buttle Marsh
To start this walk, follow Walk 4. When walk 4 branches
off to the right just past the farm house, continue
straight on along the public footpath until you reach a
road. Turn right here and follow the road slightly
uphill until you are almost at the road junction.
Just before the road junction where the hedge starts on
your left, turn left downhill along a broad track with
an open field on your left and a hedgerow with tall
trees on your right. This is called Sandy Loke.
At the end of Sandy Loke, pass through a belt of trees
and meet a road. Turn left here and follow the road back
to How Hill.